During my career, I have truly cared about people and how to ensure a workplace that goes beyond making money: a place where people feel inspired and work towards something that actually improves quality of life. I guess those who work in HR —and more specifically in internal communications— tend to be driven by a very similar goal.
Also, I can be sure that many employees fail at their jobs not just by lack of skills but lack of communication and synergy with their team and company’s mission, leading to disengagement and lower employee retention rate.
This is why I silently congratulate those companies that do well. Literally, I applause in front of my computer when I see a company’s website or press release where they show how they thrive in corporate culture, engagement, and internal communication.
This is why I want to share with you some of those Internal comms ideas and specific campaigns from the organizations I personally admire the most; a very practical blog post to inspire you for your next campaigns.
How Moz communicates its TAGFEE corporate culture
Every company has a culture code, whereas they work on it or not. While some of them really care about them, others simply take it as implicit, assuming that every employee is aligned goals, mission, vision, and values. If your team is large or growing fast, we encourage you to write down your culture code
MoZ is a world-known marketing software company located in Seattle. Rand Fishkin, its founder, and former CEO cared about company’s culture since they hired their first 20 employees, to end up with TAGFEE, their culture code that stands for Transparency, Authenticity, Generosity, Fun, Empathy, and exceptionality. Thanks to the first value —transparency— we’re allowed to know the activities they perform to excel at internal comms.
I was allowed to go deeper on Rand’s corporate culture view in his new book Lost & Founder, where, among amazing employee compensation and those bizarre things you see in the tech startup world, he opened other spaces where mozzers (how they call their employees) could openly share their thoughts towards improvement.
They have their corporate culture guidelines accessible to anyone, a section in their blog where they talk about their “TAGFEE” culture looks like through collages, blog posts, and videos about the working environment at their offices.
Tailored communication channels for parents?
According to the Hubspot’s Delivering Effective Internal Communications report, the main challenge for Internal Comms professionals is the amount of information they need to deal with and bring to their organizations. So much information, easily cluttered.
Hubspot has been recognized many times to be one of the best places to work by companies like Glassdoor and Great Place to Work. Their corporate culture is built on empathy— and that’s evidenced in how they approach parenthood.
They have a specific internal online room where employees who happen to be parents (or are about to be) can talk about their parenthood experience, sharing baby photos, or advise, so they don’t need to “leave their dad or mom hat at home”.
So you can. You can use an Intranet and online chat to create specific rooms to focus each discussion; for instance, at HyperOffice we use Ushare.to, our own online chat for teams, to create specific shared room mean to discuss a specific topic, like marketing projects and hiring.
Something as simple as creating specific communication channels will let you organize and build direct communication with your team. In my experience working remotely (i.e. my whole professional career, basically), I have experienced very good practices about team communication, like creating a random channel where our team can simply share news, thoughts, and, of course, memes.
Ask me Anything Activities
In companies where departments are separate dependencies —marketing never meets HR, and nobody knows what IT does besides installing programs— employees may feel isolated, especially for remote teams who don’t even see any faces.
For helping teams get closer to each other, companies build the spaces to get team members noticed. This is why MOZ, for instance, encourages its employees to prepare keynotes for the whole company to talk about anything they want. This way, employees can feel valued and have an open space to be heard, while team leaders can know what they care about.
Also, others use their online chat channels or Intranets to do Ask me Anything or Pick My Brain activities to help each member being noticed, one at the time, by letting others whatever they want. This activity would be very useful for companies who struggle to connect managers with their dependents.
AIESEC’s—very Millennial—way to communicate with their global community
AIESEC is one of the largest non-profits in the world and it’s managed by individuals not older than 30. Of course, their corporate culture is not corporate at all; they thrive at communicating their vision through Social Media, projects, and strategy to thousands of volunteers in more than 120 countries.
Each national executive board has a Facebook page where they constantly announce new roles, jobs applications, and performance contests. For sure, you can take one or two ideas from their corporate social profiles!
For instance, they invited every country to a World-cup-themed contest to measure and reward performance:
Or new partnership announcements…
And, also, performance reviews…
Alpina’s non-digital approach to Internal Comms
Alpina’s sustainability and internal communications team came ups with an awesome idea to present their sustainability report to their employees. Instead of a presentation or keynote with charts and numbers, they decided to hire Carlos Saavedra, a well-known photographer in Colombia and Latinoamérica, to depict everything the company does to support good, green practices through photography and show it in an art exhibition format.
HyperOffice’s digital workplace: everything happens in one place.
HyperOffice, since 2004, has served thousands of customers around the world with a cloud-based collaboration suite for teams, which includes, among other features, custom intranets, corporate emails, document sharing, calendars, project management, and a database web apps builder. During our journey, we have worked along with customers and partners like Verizon, NASA, and TATA, and being featured in the world’s leading media news such as NY Times, and PC Mag.
However, the most interesting fact is that our team is completely distributed all over the world. We are not just different because of our work time, but cultures. How do we manage our communication? We rely on Ushare.to, our web chat for teams that let us create channels for specific tasks such as “Interviews” and “Marketing”. We can also enable one-to-one meetings and video conferences for large teams. While a chat is great for real-time communication, it falls short when we need to gather and create documents and workflows, all in one place.
We don’t ever use email to communicate, nor Whatsapp or Facebook Messenger. Among other reasons, they happen to be distractors and info can be easily cluttered. Instead, we trust in a real online workplace with all the tools we need. As we run remotely, we have been able to understand the main communication pain points other teams have, which has allowed us to build the collaboration suite we have today.
Internal communication is the mere function of improving communications of individuals inside an organization. It sounds simple, yet so deep. The fact is this simple meaning goes unnoticed by many organizations which reduce their internal communications efforts, avoiding them to harness the tangible and intangible benefits it brings.
One of the reasons is that we conceive Internal comms as an abstract, unclear idea about how it is implemented and measured. This is why today we just showed you some practical and easy to implement ideas we have taken from some of the most successful organizations in the world to make this area more relevant to your company.